However you define your role as a leader, it is essential to understand how your choices impact others.
As entrepreneurs, we are all leaders by default; and how we lead is critical in ensuring that everyone we come in contact with gets the best of our true, authentic selves. This is where the act of mattering comes in.
By believing that we matter, and believing that what we have to offer can change lives (and the world) we have already taken the first critical step in running a successful business. When we feel like we matter, we bring our most true authentic selves into everything we do; and this feeling can be seen, felt, and heard within our company.
With the stressors of our modern world, current global pandemic and political unrest, it can be easy (even as leaders) to feel like what we do is insignificant. We can fall into the trap of feeling like we don’t matter.
How does this happen?
How can we best remind ourselves that we do matter?
If you were to ask yourself this same question as a five year old, you wouldn’t struggle with this topic at all. Five year olds know they matter, because they were born with that feeling; at one point you were too.
But somewhere along the way, we were educated out and taught the narrative that we aren’t so special. We were told that our contributions don’t hold any significance. Bringing ourselves back to a place of mattering comes with rekindling the spirit of our five year old selves.
Mattering isn’t about giving out a trophy, it’s not about giving inspiration. Mattering is a call to action. It is a call to action to recognize our deepest human truth, to understand and accept that we were created for significance. Denying this impacts our lives and the world. Denying the essence of our inherent value can diminish our force as we move to change the world.
We don’t question our need for food, water, shelter and air. So why do we question our deepest human desire to know what we do has significance?
Without entering the word because we matter, we are absent as leaders.
Leaders know they matter, they know they have a role, and that it is their responsibility to matter.
As leaders, how can we affirm with the people that we work with that they matter day to day?
We affirm by asking:
- Do we emphasize and model that people need to feel seen and heard?
- Do we make others feel valued, recognized and appreciated?
When people feel that their work is essential; when they feel their absence would be felt, that is when they truly begin to make mattering a practice.